Happy Veteran's Day!

In 2016, over 20 million men and women over the age of 18 were veterans, accounting for about 9% of the civilian non-institutional population. 453,000 of these Veterans were unemployed in 2016. JetLovesVets is an initiative to create awareness around Veteran unemployment in the U.S. and increase involvement to encourage the hiring of Vets at Jet. As such, we launched our first official JetLovesVets event on August 10th, 2017 hosting 19 Veterans to provide them with career guidance to help them transition to the civilian workforce.

We held workshops like Resume Builder, Mock Interviews, Glassdoor Training, and we provided them with professional headshots to use for their LinkedIn profile. Our long term goal is to design a program that will allow us to host these events throughout the year with the goal of hiring them for our teams at Jet and across Walmart U.S. eCommerce.

Jet employs a handful of veterans itself, and they all have a wealth of knowledge about their own career paths and ways to get inspired. We asked a few of them to share!

Troy Brekken

What’s one thing you try to do each day to stay inspired? 

I’m acutely aware that people are risking their lives by fighting for our country every day.  I often think about our vets/those currently serving and am inspired by their dedication.

What professional advice would you tell your younger self?  

Take the time to improve yourself/professional skills, before long you’ll be in a role that requires you at your best.  Listen more than talk.  Don’t assume anything. Constantly be networking.  Trust but verify.  Bad stuff happens all the time, so don’t freak out and try to stay positive/keep a good attitude when it happens.

What’s the best way to inspire teammates? 

Respect all and realize that everyone has something to offer.

Who would play you in a movie? 

Ferris Bueller because who doesn’t want to be that guy.  Or the Hansen brothers from Slapshot if I could be 3 people.

Peter Cross

What’s one thing you try to do each day to stay inspired?

I try and start every day with a brief mindfulness exercise – it’s easy to lose your frame of reference sometimes, so staying grounded and appreciative is important.

What professional advice would you tell your younger self?

Make sure you keep learning – find something that you’re interested in, and keep in the habit of always working toward learning something new.

Who is someone who inspires you/who you try to channel each day? Why do they inspire you?

I’m inspired by my team – we all have some overlapping areas of skill, but everyone you meet has something they can teach you.

In your opinion: What’s the best way to inspire teammates? 

At the end of the day everyone wants to be great at what they do – finding great things that my teammates do and recognizing them for it is a great way to let folks know they’re doing well.

Who would play you in a movie?

One of the Baldwin brothers. I’d hope for Alec, but would settle for Steven.

Doug DeAngelo

What’s one thing you try to do each day to stay inspired?

Think about how lucky I am to be able to work at place where I can do things each day that matter to the business. Being able to do things that I then get to see reflected right away inspires me to try each day.

What professional advice would you tell your younger self?

You should take risks when you are young. Go outside your comfort zone and learn all you can.

Who is someone who inspires you/who you try to channel each day? Why do they inspire you?

The Executive Officer of my submarine. He was able to get results while really caring about people too. Thinking about his leadership inspires me.

What’s the best way to inspire teammates?

Have high standards but also have fun.

Who would play you in a movie?

My twin brother.

James Williams

What’s one thing you try to do each day to stay inspired?

Remind myself of our purpose and mission. Without a purpose that resonates with you, it is hard to stay purposeful in your daily work and provide your best effort. Title, level, and compensation are naturally attractive elements of a role, but these won’t keep you inspired past the short term.

What professional advice would you tell your younger self?

Take every opportunity to train, learn, and challenge yourself! I have found that much more often I regret missed opportunities more than challenges undertaken. Growth and learning best occur in the crucible of challenging experiences – this applies in the military as well as in the private sector. Audacity, grit, and determination can take you 90% of the way to success, and the remainder is skills and aptitude based.

What’s the best way to inspire teammates?

Empowerment! There is nothing more formidable than a team that knows their scope, their left and right limits, and have the ability to get their job done with little in their way.

Who would play you in a movie?

Aspirational, it would be Shemar Moore. However, if I am honest, it would be much more realistic if it would be Terrance Howard (who is actually a better actor).

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